Join 1708 Gallery for “Assembler”, a night of conversation about our current exhibition, “Super / Natural”, on Monday, February 2, 2015. A facilitator will lead a group discussion with the audience starting with basic questions as a way to create a dialogue about the art on view. From here, participants work together to assemble the meaning of the art work shown in the gallery. Michael Jones McKean, artist and Associate Professor at VCU’s Dept. of Sculpture and Extended Media, will be facilitating the discussion.
“Super / Natural”, the exhibition we’ll be discussing, features work by Derek Coté, Adam Farcus, Christopher Mahonski, Liz Rodda, and Stephanie Roland. Themes of alchemy and magic, science fiction and new age spiritualism play across the works of these 5 artists. More information about “Super / Natural”, can be found at www.1708gallery.org.
“Assembler” is FREE and open to all ages. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the discussion begins at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP to Gallery Coordinator Janelle Proulx at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myron Helfgott: An Inventory of My Thoughts
January 16-March 8, 2015
Opening Friday, January 16, 5-8 pm
Trying to harness the diverse content and materials in these sculptures is like trying to organize debris at a picnic on a windy day.
- Myron Helfgott
Presenting over 50 works, including several room-size installations, this retrospective covers nearly 45 years of production and fills all three floors of the Gallery. It is curated by Director Ashley Kistler, who has worked closely with the artist over the last two years to develop the exhibition.
A native Chicagoan, Helfgott (Professor Emeritus) joined the faculty of the VCUarts Department of Sculpture in 1968. He has since been a creative mainstay of the Richmond arts community, while also exhibiting at numerous venues beyond the region. In the aftermath of his retirement from teaching in 2003, Helfgott’s activity in the studio has continued unabated. Organized thematically, the exhibition combines new and recent works from this enormously productive period with significant pieces from over the decades, including sculptures he made not long after arriving in Richmond.
Helfgott has always conceived sculpture as a flexible and inclusive activity, capable of accommodating diverse materials, objects, approaches, ideas, and collaborations. “This gives his work a vitality and depth that is fresh, edgy, and often badly behaved,” observes VCUarts Dean Joe Seipel. “Its underlying mischievous and subversive character keeps the viewer engaged with complex issues and imagery.”
As an undergraduate, Helfgott studied architecture and design at the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University before completing his MFA in sculpture at SIU. In the late 1950s and early 60s, studies with the visionary architect R. Buckminster Fuller instilled in him a lifelong interest in physical structure, apparent today in the meticulously made plywood armatures of his sculptures.
At the same time, Helfgott’s exposure to Gestalt psychology shaped other enduring aspects of his work, including his concept of the viewer’s participatory role and the psychological self-portrait, which reappears in different guises through the years, often in a fragmented state. As a young artist, he was also intent on incorporating in sculpture the figure-ground relationship and pictorial space of painting, a concern reflected more recently in his manipulation of photographs into three-dimensional components.
During the 2000s, deeply influenced by literature and film, Helfgott introduced the element of time by first adding kinetics and then audio to his work–the latter based mostly on his own texts whose wide-ranging existential musings are full of humor, wit, and pathos. “The challenge and rewards of an open-ended process draws Helfgott back into the studio each day,” notes Kistler, “not only in terms of material experimentation, but also for the meaningful self-discovery that is gleaned in the making.”
Published by the Anderson Gallery, and funded by generous contributions from individuals and the Dean’s Office, a fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. It will include a foreword by Seipel, essays by Kistler and VCU Professor Emeritus of Art History Howard Risatti, a story by fiction writer and critic Dinah Ryan, a comprehensive biography by Gallery Coordinator Tracy Garland, and additional contributions from sculptors Elizabeth King and Lester Van Winkle, editor Mary Flinn, and poet Elizabeth Seydel Morgan.
Curated by Eric Fischl
October 25 – January 31, 2015
Jake & Dinos Chapman
Elizabeth King (Professor of Sculpture) & Richard Kizu-Blair
Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
The FLAG Art Foundation
545 West 25th Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY
In __ We Trust: Art and Money
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
Oct 3, 2014 – March 1, 2015
Disorder. The curious case of dishevelled art. Artium Collection
Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Oct 10, 2014 – August 30, 2015